Planting colonies In the 1500s and 1600s, Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden planted colonies in the New World. Despite a slow start, England, too would set up its own colonies. Some terms to know: • charter - In government and law, a formal document by which the monarch or state grants and acknowledges certain rights, liberties, or powers to a colony or group of people. Colonial charters normally required the proprietors to abide by basic English laws but they were given the right to use the colony's land and to defend and administer the colony as they saw fit. • colonial system - In government the pattern of relationships between a dominant nation and it's dependent territories. Together a ruling country and its colonies constitute an empire. • colony - A settlement made by people who leave their own country to settle in another land, but who still remain citizens of their original country. After Columbus, many European countries began to found colonies all over the world. Three Worlds collide: greatest consequence of European colonization of the New World: a massive transplanting of people from the continents of Europe and Africa to the continent of North America across thousands of miles of ocean. Whereas Amerindian societies appeared to be in an arrested state of development, European immigrants brought technology with them and they used it to tame the land and create a new country. Technology was a by-product of Europe's long fascination with science and had produced very sophisticated tools and machines, chemicals, navigational instruments, devices for keeping time, guns and so forth: Items that were virtually unknown to the native cultures of America before the colonists arrived. The transplanted people changed the landscape of the new continent, cutting down dense forests across thousands of square miles of countryside and replacing them with cultivated fields. Large colonial cities and towns, with permanent buildings of brick and stone, built in the architectural styles of Europe dotted the countryside. • European colonists brought their language, customs, religions, and racial beliefs to America, and they adapted their old ways of doing things to make them work in a strange new land. • Most changes were made in how they farmed and lived their daily lives, but others were in the laws they made and the ways they governed. • Things like these blended together during the almost 200 years that England ruled in America and helped lay the foundation for the unique culture of an independent United States of America. • Traces of Spanish, French, Dutch, Swedish, German, and Scots-Irish culture still remains in parts of America as well. Bernard Bailyn: Ideological Origins of the American Revolution • “By 1763 the great landmarks of European life—the church and the idea of orthodoxy, the state and the idea of authority: much of the array of institutions and ideas that buttressed the society of the ancient regime— had faded in their exposure to the open, wilderness environment of America. But until the disturbances of the 1760’s these changes had not been seized upon as grounds for a reconsideration of society and politics….Then, after 1760—and especially in the decade after 1765—they were brought into open discussion as the colonists sought to apply advanced principles of society and politics to their own immediate problems. The original issue of the Anglo-American conflict was of course, the question of the extent of Parliament’s jurisdiction in the colonies….The debate involved eventually a wide range of social and political problems, and it ended by 1776 in what may be called the conceptualization of American life ….” Bernard Bailyn on the emergence of a unique world view in America: • “By  Americans had come to think of themselves as in a special category, uniquely placed by history to capitalize on, to complete and fulfill, the promise of man’s existence. The changes that had overtaken their provincial societies, they saw, had been good: elements not of deviance and retrogression but of betterment and progress; not a lapse into primitivism, but an elevation to a higher plane of political and social life than had ever been reached before….[The intellectual] history of the years of crisis from 1763-1776 is the story of the clarification and consolidation under the pressure of events of a view of the world and of America’s place in it only partially seen before. Elements of this picture had long been present in the colonies—some dated from as far back as the settlements themselves—but they had existed in balance, as it were, with other, conflicting views. Expressed mainly on occasions of controversy, they had appeared most often as partisan arguments, without unique appeal, status, or claim to legitimacy. Then, in the intense political heat of the decade after 1763, these long popular, though hitherto inconclusive ideas about the world and America’s place in it were fused into a comprehensive view, unique in its moral and intellectual appeal. It is the development of this view to the point of overwhelming persuasiveness to the majority of American leaders and the meaning this view gave to the events of the time, and not simply an accumulation of grievances, that explains the origins of the American Revolution.” Quote from Charles Andrews “We sometimes hear that revolutions are not made but happen. In their immediate causes this is not true—for revolutions do not happen, they are made, in that they are the creatures of propaganda and manipulation. But in reality, revolutions are not made. They are the detonations of explosive materials, long accumulating and often long dormant. They are the resultants of a vast complex of economic, political, social, and legal forces, which taken collectively are the masters, not the servants, of statesmen and political agitators. They are never sudden in their origin, but look back to influences long in the making [i.e. ‘remoter causes,’ such as ‘the history, institutions, and mental past of the parties to the conflict.’].” Source: AHA Presidential Address at Ann Arbor Michigan (12/02/1925) Charles Andrews contd. “A government, representative of a privileged social and political order that took existing conditions as a matter of course, setting nature at defiance and depending wholly on art, was bound sooner or later to come into conflict with a people, whose life in America was in closest touch with nature and characterized by growth and change and constant readjustments. In that country were groups of men, women, and children, the greater portion of whom were of English ancestry, numbering at first a few hundreds and eventually more than two millions, who were scattered over many miles of continent and island and were living under various forms of government. These people, more or less unconsciously, under the influence of new surroundings and imperative needs, were establishing a new order of society and laying the foundations of a new political system.” Charles Andrews contd. “The story of how this was done—how that which was English slowly and imperceptibly merged into that which was American…. is the story of the gradual elimination of those elements, feudal and proprietary, that were foreign to the normal life of a frontier land, and of the gradual adjustment of the colonists to the restraints and restrictions that were imposed upon them by the commercial policy of the mother country. It is the story also of the growth of the colonial assemblies and of the education and experience that the colonists were receiving in the art of political self-government. It is above all—and no phase of colonial history is of greater significance—the story of the gradual transformation of these assemblies from the provincial councils that the home government intended them to be into miniature parliaments. At the end of a long struggle with the prerogative and other forms of outside interference, they emerged powerful legislative bodies, as self-conscious in their way as the House of Commons in England was becoming during the same eventful years.” Diversity The New World colonies differed from each other—those differences were due in part to geography and to the varied cultures from which settlers came. Although similar processes took place throughout the Americas, the particulars varied from place to place, create a diverse range of cultures. The society that arose in each colony reflected the colonies mix of native peoples, its connections to the slave trade, and the characteristics of the European society establishing the colony. For the colonists the biggest changes came not just from living in a mostly untamed land but from being thrown into the American cultural "melting pot" that was made up of people from many different parts of the world. And it was from the combination of so many differing ideas and customs that the diverse and amazing culture of the United States was to emerge. North American colonial empires and colonies had several common characteristics: Each hoped to find easily extracted forms of wealth as well as great indigenous civilizations. Each seized Indian lands, enslaving Indians and selling them to plantations in the West Indies. Each responded to the natives they encountered with a mix of violence and diplomacy. The French, Dutch, and English impacted/influenced fewer Indians (e.g. Christianity, alcohol, disease, muskets and gunpowder, etc.) than the Spanish because there were fewer Indians where they settled. African slaves proved crucial to the development of each economy, especially in the South.